Unlike Superman, military personnel cannot be reborn on Krypton to become invincible. So, they must settle for the next best thing, like an RCH ballistic helmet by defence tech company XTEK (ASX: XTE) that can withstand assault rifle bullets, like those fired by AK-47 rifles (arguably the most widely-used weapon).
The Company has achieved a major milestone in its collaboration with Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL), a division of the prestigious Indian Tata Group. The joint venture has successfully completed independent ballistic laboratory performance validation testing in India, with a batch of sample RCH helmets yielding excellent results.
XTEK’s revolutionary RCH ballistic helmets, utilising its patented XTclave technology (used to produce lightweight yet strong armour), has demonstrated the ability to withstand high-powered assault rifle bullets. These cutting-edge helmets have the potential to transform soldier ballistic head protection for specialised military units.
CEO of XTEK, Scott Basham, said, “The independent laboratory feedback received on the ballistic performance achieved by our RCH, is excellent news for the collaboration agreement we have with Tata Advanced Systems Ltd., and further strengthens our positioning to supply our unique XTclave made ‘rifle rated’ Rifle Combat Helmets into the Indian Defence market.”
Anticipating a significant enhancement program for soldier ballistic head protection by the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) in FY24, XTEK stands ready to cater to the demand for thousands of these advanced helmets annually. This positive outcome further strengthens the collaboration agreement between XTEK’s wholly-owned subsidiary, HighCom and TASL, bolstering the Company’s position as suppliers of unrivaled “rifle rated” Rifle Combat Helmets to the Indian defence market.
This collaboration with TASL, announced in April 2023, comes on the heels of XTEK’s receipt of an $800k grant from the Australian Department of Defence on January 31, 2023. The funding aims to double the production output of XTEK’s XTclaveTM RCH helmets.
TASL is a fully-owned subsidiary of Tata Sons and the strategic Aerospace and Defense division of the Tata Group, aiming to become the preferred partner for both the Indian government’s “Make in India” initiative and global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). Leveraging its extensive capabilities, resources, and scale, TASL is dedicated to delivering comprehensive innovative solutions that encompass systems, hardware, software, technology, and digital solutions across vital domains to safeguard India’s land, sea, and airspace.
With a robust portfolio of partnerships and joint ventures with renowned global aerospace and defence companies, TASL solidifies its position as a crucial player in the international supply chain and, in some cases, a primary supplier for leading defence OEMs.
Last year, XTEK received about $3 million to beef up the US military’s body armour in light of the excessive school shootings. While that appears to have been a one-off thing, rising violence globally (think Russia-Ukraine and whatnot) has compelled governments to give due attention to outfitting their soldiers.
The Indian government has raised its defence budget to $106 billion, for the 2023-2024 financial year, to make its military more high-tech. In keeping with that, the collaboration agreement between HighCom Armour Solutions Inc. and Tata Advanced Systems Ltd represents a significant stride towards supplying advanced Level III Rifle Combat Helmets to the Indian defence market.
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